1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Ignorant question...

    I have been asked by several folks (mom's and dad's, friends and families) about how career and volunteer firefighters can take off from their primary FD and head out to volunteer with FEMA. I have seen the USFA applications.

    I have given the answer that FEMA is paying the volunteers and reimbursing the career FDs for their staff...but does that mean that the career FFs only get paid for every third day?

    I apologize for asking this question when all our thoughts are with our brothers helping and all those in need, but I would like to give accurate information to family.

    I would be grateful if someone could point me in the right direction.



  2. #2
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    DeputyMarshal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Connecticut, USA


    Quote Originally Posted by fire2emtB
    I have given the answer that FEMA is paying the volunteers and reimbursing the career FDs for their staff...but does that mean that the career FFs only get paid for every third day?
    As nearly as I can tell, FEMA is only recruiting from career departments (and may have already finished recruiting) due to the relative ease of reimbursing career versus volunteer/paid-on-call personnel. Local departments continue to pay firefighters assigned to FEMA at their regular rate. FEMA will (eventually) reimburse those departments based on a 40 hour work week at FEMA's standard pay rate -- not necessarily the firefighter's regular pay rate. Local departments will still be on the hook for any regular pay over 40 hours/week and any overtime replacement pay used to fill slots vacated by FEMA assigned firefighters.

    (This is based on the information our department received when it sent a two man team and prior FEMA reimbursement practices. I went down with Red Cross on personal vacation time so I'm not positive what the current details are.)

    FWIW, the Red Cross is still in need of volunteers to assist with the aftermath of Katrina and Rita. IMHO, if your fire department hasn't already been requested in an FD capacity, it probably never will be. If you want to help, the Red Cross is a good alternative.

    EDIT: Here's a helpful link:FEMA Payroll Link
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 09-27-2005 at 02:00 PM.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  3. #3
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    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    FEMA has been accepting both paid and volunteer firefighters.

    Paid FF's maintain the same hourly rate as whatever city they came from and are getting paid OT for all hours over 40 hours a week. The crews that are down on the coast are averaging about 12 hours a day. You do the math...it's good money.

    Volunteer FF's are getting paid at the wage FEMA pays civilian DAE's (disaster assistance employee's). I'm not sure how much it is, but I believe it's on their website.

    FEMA does not pay the paid firefighter's directly. The city they came from pays the firefighters and then the city gets FEMA to reimburse the city.

    FEMA does NOT pay the city for any OT used to hire back fill-ins for the guys that were deployed as DAE's.

  4. #4
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    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Allen, Texas, USA

    Question Fema

    True, they did start bringing in the Volunteer troops as well. It was advetised (in all Fire circles) at 26 per hour before O/T. And I thought these (Career) jobbers would be handled like the US&R teams. My impression (their explanation) when I wanted to interview for a Task Force, was under "Stafford" your payroll was covered AND the payroll for covering your vacated spot. But of course, the Task Forces maximum deployment was ten days then.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    NW Indiana


    Pay scale for vollies is 23.?? (23.41?) regular time and 29.?? o/t. One of the guys from our dept was a laid-off electrician who was making about a third of that at a bowling alley and the other guy was out of work. Both had the time and the need for income. Last Friday they were transferred to Operations and moved into Rita's neighborhood. An adventure, but we're hearing that it's hot, muggy and they are both longing to return to the air conditioned tent in Baton Rouge.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    i'm a volunteer down in bogalusa, LA with FEMA. A few of my teammates are career guys and they have said that they are getting paid for a 40 hour week and FEMA is going to reimburse their dept. for overtime.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    I live in the Hurricane affected area and I was talking to some firefighters working with FEMA. From what they told me they volunteers and career guy alike are working for FEMA and they are getting paid for every day that they work.

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